We’re speaking with “Kushie Kandy,” which produces candy bars in 50mg and 100mg, and 100mg. With a plethora of flavors to please just about every palette, these medicated chocolate bars have taken the edibles scene by storm and have been enjoyed by thousands of patients around the US. They are tasty, potent and have a consistent dosage; they are lab tested, and come in about 40 flavors! Kushie just received their first win in San Bernardino for Third Place Edible with their Strawberry Banana Cream, and won Second Place win in Denver with their Cinnamon Roll Crunch. Since two victories, the demand for their product has skyrocketed, and its hard to keep them in stock.
High Times: Where did you start making your edibles?
Kushy Kandy: Michigan. I started in about 2009 to 2010. There was no real good edible companies really doing it out there. There wasn’t much access because of the laws at the time, so I started making my own. Friends loved ’em, so I started making more, and now it’s really been blowing up.
HT: Where can patients find your edibles?
KK: Right now in Michigan and California. We have Colorado coming very soon as well as Washington.
HT: What made you get started on the ingredients you use now for your edibles? Compared to other companies who use lots of artificial ingredients, you choose to use actual fruit and candy pieces in your bars?
KK: I just think that an organic edible is more sound to somebody whose looking for a medical product. I’m looking to get benefits from it as opposed to something that’s artificial. Besides that, our edibles tastes better than the artificial crap.
HT: What made you decide on 100mg for the dosage for your candy bars?
KK: It just seems to be the industry standard with a lot of other companies. We have 100mg, and our double-dose bars are 200mg. I started making them 50mg originally, then I doubled it to keep up with the industry standard.
HT: Are your 200mg as easily available as your 100mg or are they on special order?
KK: They’re on special order with a few collectives at this time. There’s only one collective in California that has them. We just kind of made it public that we’re doing 200mg bars, and now we’re getting more orders for them.
HT: Will you be doing any collabs with any extract artist, dispensaries, or any other growers with your product, and possibly make strain-specific edibles as well?
KK: @Nuthin_But _Nectar_Extracts/Waxy Willy, we’ve got a big thing going on in the works. We’re going to start a whole CBD line, strain specific, indica, sativa, and hybrid edibles out in California. Once we get what we need in Colorado to get started, I’ll have a grower to supply all the stuff we need. We’ll be able to grow a strain specifically for a candy that we want.
HT:So are your candies all hybrids, or are they indica and sativa too?
KK: Right now, we’re doing all hybrids, but there’s times where we get batches of indica, and batches of sativa, but for the most part, its hybrids for now.
HT: Any specific strain or any dominant strains that might be in the hybrids? Any preferred strain, or is it usually all random?
KK: It’s usually random, but we stuck with the same growers, and its usually a lot of Chems, and OGs. Some Hazes. Mainly OGs, Chems and Sour Diesels.
HT: How many different flavors do you have available right now?
KK: Last time I checked its around 42. We come out with new flavors all the time. I love doing seasonal flavors. We’re always getting new ideas from patients, and turn it into a reality for them. Get them a candy they have never had before.
HT: Is there any specific flavor you prefer?
KK: My favorite is Key Lime Pie and then maybe Birthday Cake. A popular favorite is the Peanut Butter Maple Bacon because it had organic chunks of bacon cooked to perfection, with a little bit of peanut butter, then a little bit of pure maple syrup flavor added in. It’s awesome! People love it!
HT: Do you get all your flavor ideas from your patients, or do you come up with most of them?
KK: For the most part, a lot of them in the beginning was just me, coming up with crazy ideas. I started off basic. I made Cookies ‘N Cream, then Milk Chocolate Pretzel. Then I started thinking to myself about adding other combinations of ingredients. Crazy combinations that candy companies haven”t thought of yet.
HT: When other states start allowing medical and recreational marijuana, will you step into those states as well?
KK: Absolutely, yes. I started as a company just making for me and my friends. I really wanted to take it to the next level. That was my dream I wanted to be a household name, a recognizable product in the cannabis industry. Recreational and medical.
HT: Are you going to stay strictly candy bars for now?
KK: At the moment, yes. Chocolate bars seem to be the main thing. So far, were branching out. We’re doing hard candies as well. We’re thinking about possibly starting a baked goods line such as cookies, brownies, cakes and stuff like that. In California, there’s a big demand for that. There’s always possibilities. We don’t really like to step on others people’s toes. Everyone’s making gummy candies now. One of my good friends has that gummy thing going, so I’m not really trying to step on his toes. I’ve made gummy candies before, there’s just not a big demand for them from my clients.
HT: How did you get where your at today? Did you start small in a kitchen and let a few friends try, and then they spread the word?
KK: Once I started getting a demand from all my friends that wanted to buy, I realized I was wasting my time. Instead of selling a bar or two a day, I got in contact with local dispensaries in Michigan, and asked them if they might want to get their hands on some candy bars at wholesale. That’s how I stopped doing patient-to-patient and started only doing wholesale to cannabis clubs. I exposed myself to everyone else that goes to these dispensaries. I made a good edible, and people were eating mine and getting medicated, and it wasn’t tasting like crap. No medication taste. That’s a big thing I’ve noticed a lot with other companies. They use whatever kind of oil and material they can get. It just ruins the taste of the edible.
HT: How do you avoid getting that harsh flavor into your edibles?
KK: Using quality starting material is the number one thing. If you start with bad product, your going to have a bad product in the end no matter what.
HT: How consistent are all your flavors in terms of potency?
KK: I weigh every ingredient. I know how many bars the ingredients are going to produce, and then I put the amount of hash that’s needed in there.
HT: Do you have a Thin Mint flavored bar?
KK: Yes we do!
HT: Who does the testing for your cannabinoid content?
KK: NWBA in Seattle, Cannalytics in Michigan, and CW Analytical and Steep Hill labs in California.
HT: Can you tell me a little about your first win at the San Bernardino Cup?
KK: It was the first time we’ve ever wanted to enter a cup, and the first time having the opportunity to. It was absolutely the most craziest, last minute, unexpected thing ever. I posted something on Instagram about going to the Cup, about a week or so before. John from High Times contacted me to let me know that there was a spot for edibles open and asked if I was interested in entering. That was the Sunday before deadline.
The next day, I found out I had two days to get the entries in. I ran around, I went to the dispensary, I got four ounces of Kong, and turned it into oil from K.O Extracts. We decarboxylated that, activated the THC, and turned it into amazing, award-winning edibles. The day it was due, I was flying out to California with the edibles. The Kong I used was from All Greens, the first dispensary in Denver. It was a last minute thing. It was just ridiculous how it all worked out. I was super stoked. I talked to Bobby Black and Danny Danko, who said they were super stoked to try them.
The whole time, I was feeling really good about it, but I didn’t think I was going to win. I was worried about other stuff like meeting dispensary owners, making connections and networking. When the award night came, I was actually getting a great response from the patients at the Cup. I couldn’t keep up with the demand of my product, even before I won. When the awards were being called, I was sitting in the back of the venue. I wasn’t expecting to win anything. My friend was telling me to get up there because I was going to win. He was just messing with me, but they called my name, and I couldn’t believe it! I freaked out, I started screaming, I ran up, pushed my way through everybody, I even went up to the wrong side of the stage. I had to jump the fence near the security guard, it was crazy! I felt like I was going to black out on stage when I was talking on the mic. I was so ecstatic! I never expected it at all. I didn’t have a booth, and it was my first time entering, and I wasn’t sponsored, or didn’t sponsor anything. It was such a surprise! Everyone says the Cannabis Cups are rigged. No way! There’s no way that could be possible. I was a nobody, and I just won. That shows me right there you have to put a good product in. You have to work for it. You get what you deserve.
HT: How has business been since you have won?
KK: Since then, we have been getting new clients everyday. We close at least one new account a day. Were always getting re-orders. Were in 15 different dispensaries and counting.
HT: Does the demand meet up with your supply?
KK: Absolutely. We sometimes have trouble finding enough material to keep up with our demand. That’s the biggest problem. Having material to keep up with the demand.
Here’s a few dispensaries in California that carry Kushie Kandy:
Collective Efforts in Sacramento
Green Way Healing in Santa Ana
Spectrum LA in Los Angeles
Venice Medical Center in Los Angeles
Green Light Delivery in Los Angeles
Puffin’s in San Fernando Valley
Golden State Delivery Service in San Diego
Green Wellness in San Diego
TLC Collective in Los Angeles
Enhanced Energies in Vallejo
MK Wellness in Los Angeles
Crown Collective in San Diego
Healing Center Delivery in Barstow